Leaving Bulgaria, struggling with it, finding peace in the magical Strandzha National Park (October 2022)

After our wonderful hut tour, we arrived back in Varna. Artha started a yoga teacher training and I lived the city life in Rosinante right on the beautiful city beach.

Artha wanted to focus on the yoga teacher training and I could understand that very well. If I had been in her shoes, I thought, I’d have wanted to do the same thing. I lived on the city beach of Varna for a week and found a wonderful little beach that felt like a little natural paradise in the city life. Like a little oasis. I enjoyed living on the city beach and Artha and I met up occasionally. As I write this, it feels like at the time I was pushing far away any thoughts or feelings that might prevent me from enjoying that life. It feels like my love for Artha made me feel this way. I wanted to stay by her side. At least for my ego, that seemed to be the most important thing. And as I described in one of the previous posts, I lived that aspect of myself like anything else. I didn’t push Artha too hard, but I still told her how I felt. I never said it had to be how I felt, I just wanted to be pure and honest.

The yoga teacher training was intense and Artha felt like she couldn’t do it wholeheartedly, while at the same time wholeheartedly living the connection between us. She felt that our connection and the dynamic between us were of a very different kind of energy than this profound personal training. I absolutely felt the same way. Although I didn’t like it, we decided that it would be best for her to focus entirely on her training and for me to continue my nature and travel life. I didn’t like this. I felt that once we put some physical distance between us, it was far from certain that we’d see each other again. We both said that we’d like to see each other again when Artha finished her training, but deep down I doubted it. I just felt that she and I carried this brilliant impulse within us to live our respective lives as holistically as possible. Although my romantic love and ego wanted to stay by Artha’s side, I didn’t know if we’d meet again as I continued my journey. It just felt uncertain. Basically, it was like everything in life. Uncertain. Unstable. My ego just wouldn’t accept it. It was only soothed by the fact that the moment I left Varna, Artha and I were firmly convinced that we’d meet again in about two months.

From Varna, I drove to Strandzha National Park. On the way there, I felt torn. I still didn’t like putting distance between me and Artha, but at the same time it felt good and like I was following an inner urge to get going again. To go somewhere without a fixed destination. To go into nature. To stay as long as I want to. To do the things that feel brilliant to me. I remember riding Rosinante very fast down a dirt road that went through a forest, having a lot of fun. At one point, Rosinante even got a little air when she jumped over a small bump and the wheels squealed. Part of me felt free. When I thought about Artha, I felt like I was losing something.

The mountains in Strandzha are wonderful, magical and pure. I parked Rosinante right in the forest and spent all my days outside exploring nature. There were all sorts of things to explore: ancient ritual sites, shrines and all the marvelous and calm beauty of nature.

I felt wonderful, natural and free. And deep inside I suddenly realized that it’s like so many people say: when you let go of a loved one, you experience pure, deep, unconditional love. Not the romantic ego love that is craving for this and that and wants the person you love to make you happy. But the pure love that wants the person you love to be happy. That steps back and throws light into the blurry self-centered perspective of the romantic ego love. For me, there was no doubt that I wanted Artha to be happy and live what felt genuine to her in every moment. And for me, I wanted the same.